by Jody Hedlund
“Our Lord always gives us more than we pray for. If we pray properly for a piece of bread, He gives us an entire field. Yet we rarely begin anything with genuine prayer and this miss out on so much of His blessing.“Luther and Katharina
This book has been sitting on my bookshelf unread for far too long! After a discussion with my father about major reformers in Christianity, I felt inspired to finally read this novel about Martin Luther and his beloved wife, Katharina. As a Christian and a lover of historical fiction, I am putting this on my “must-read” list!
In the 16th century, nun Katharina von Bora’s fate fell no further than the Abbey. Until she read the writings of Martin Luther. His sweeping Catholic church reformation—condemning a cloistered life and promoting the goodness of marriage—awakened her desire for everything she’d been forbidden. Including Martin Luther himself. Despite the fact that the attraction and tension between them is undeniable, Luther holds fast to his convictions and remains isolated, refusing to risk anyone’s life but his own. And Katharina longs for love, but is strong-willed. She clings proudly to her class distinction, pining for nobility over the heart of a reformer. They couldn’t be more different. But as the world comes tumbling down around them, and with Luther’s threatened life a constant strain, these unlikely allies forge an unexpected bond of understanding, support and love. Together, they will alter the religious landscape forever.
Despite my rigorous schooling, there was still much I did not know about Martin Luther and in reading in the story, many of the concepts and events tickled my memory… but I never truly understood what significance Martin Luther played in not only Christianity, but our world as a whole. Prior to Luther, corruption and oppression ran rampant in the Church as most were unable to actually read God’s written word and relied upon the Church to provide guidance. This caused penance, indulgences, ignorance, and even a distant relationship with God. Even those who served God as monks and nuns were often abused and kept in the dark. It wasn’t until Martin Luther that people were able to actually read God’s word, learn to pray instead of repeat chants or rote prayers, and much more… including the fact that we wear our wedding rings on our left hands than on the right.
All I can say is thank you Martin Luther! Never in a million years would I want to trade places with him as he suffered much personal persecution, the persecution and death of others because of his reformation, stress of leading the ignorant and angry (peasants and princes alike), all causing him serious health issues that plagued him most of his life until his death. God could have used anyone. He didn’t “NEED” Martin Luther. However, Luther was not only convicted by what he saw and felt, he was also brave enough to listen to the voice of God and for that our world and our relationship with God was forever changed for the better!
Jody Hedlund did a beautiful job portraying Martin Luther and although she obviously had to take liberties with the story and the personalities of the characters, many of the details and characters are based on truth.
At times, I was so frustrated by Katharina and Martin. Their ill choice of words, fear and doubts, as well as their lack of understanding the other was maddening. It may be due to culture or my personality, but I feel like if I was Katharina, I would have been incredibly hurt or offended by Martin’s ill choice of words. However, Katharina was also brave and often exchanged hurtful words as well. From the first moment they met, Katharina’s forthrightness was shocking, but I think it made them well paired and seemed true to how Katharina actually was, based on writings by Martin Luther about his wife. He really did call her “My Lord Katie” and one said, “You convince me of whatever you please. You have complete control. I concede to you the control of the household, providing my rights are preserved.”
As I have previously expressed, I like to dog ear my favorite scenes in a book, and this book is full of them! Lots of sweet moments of tenderness but also great nuggets of wisdom! All around, this is a great book and I absolutely enjoyed not only reading but also learning!
The Red Review: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
*** 5 Stars: Compelling Characters, Well-Written, Interesting Storyline, Unable to Stop, Desire to Reread
There are several other great books by Jody Hedlund!
- Bride Ship Series
- The Lost Princess Series
- The Noble Knights Series
- The Orphan Train Series
- Beacon of Hope Series
- The Michigan Bride Collection
- Hearts of Faith Collection
- The Fairest Maiden
- Colorado Cowboys
- Waters of Time
- Come Back to Me
- Never Leave Me (Coming January 2022)